When the Hunter becomes the Hunted — From Boris Johnson to Liz Truss to Rishi Sunak – the arc of history is being bent!
Africa too, should be proud!
Rishi Sunak, just over six weeks ago, was the losing candidate in Britain’s Conservative Party’s leadership race that would have seen him ascend to the highest office of the land, in a historical landmark precedent of being the first person of colour to hold such office.
Not in his wildest dreams would he have imagined that the mantle of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) would be his, in what has to be the most remarkable turnaround in the UK’s political history.
Of original Indian descent, part of his roots also lies on the continent of Africa.
His father Yashvir was born in the Protectorate and Colony of Kenya, and his mum Usha was born in Tanganika (now part of Tanzania) although Rishi was born in the UK.
This gives him a very colourful pedigree.
It would be rather ironic that the marauders of India, the British, who plundered and pillaged and looted India as merciless colonial interlopers would now find themselves ruled by a descendant of the fertile Indian soil – a subtle case of the hunter becoming the hunted!
Stranger things have happened as the global theatre of politics evolves at a pace that many cannot keep up with.
Who would have imagined that Barak Obama (another descendent of the Kenyan soil) would have become the leader of the free world, again, being the first person of colour to lead the United States of America!
Sunak’s ascension to 10 Downing Street comes as a result of his predecessor’s economic playbook that went horribly wrong and she was left with no option but to vacate the pedestal – being the shortest serving prime minister in the UK’s history.
The UK is in the throes of an economic crisis and Rishi Sunak will have his work cut out for him to no end.
He has to hit the ground running as he has two years of major upheaval ahead before the next general election in the UK so he would be advised not to gloat or smack his lips in glory when the deliverables are being demanded loudly and clearly by the people of the UK.
There is already ambivalence at Sunak being elected the leader of the Conservative Party – as would be expected in a country in turmoil, and his detractors would become the proverbial circling vultures ready to pounce on any misgiving that may result.
His wealth has become a bone of contention in some quarters, but I believe it is his ability to steer the ship from running aground that will ultimately determine his success or failure as Europe’s first leader of colour whose ancestors were colonized by the very country he is about to lead.
Whatever one’s viewpoint about Sunak’s paramountcy might be or even that of the British, there is no doubt that he is on the cusp of stretching history beyond that of the imagined and will no doubt be under scrutiny with regard to every word he utters and every move he makes.
Credit to the British and the media that they have largely not used the racial tag – that of Sunak being Indian – to upend his candidacy or his election as party leader.
Until the world sees otherwise, congratulations would be the order of the day and I wish him every success in his short tenure.
Perhaps Queen Elizabeth has already started turning in her grave with the news!
Global Indian Correspondent
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